Background

I am often asked why our aircraft still fly under the IL brand. My answer will be as follows: Our teachers had a reputation of global significance. They created excellent healthy teams. So why should we change the brand? On the contrary, we believe that we should strive to develop the traditions, which were laid down by our teachers, to the maximum possible extent, and to maintain the reputation of our brand. The IL brand is something that does impose certain obligations. It is not for nothing that our employees often say, ‘We are the Ilyushin Team!’

Public Joint Stock Company “Ilyushin Aviation Complex” (also referred to as ILYUSHIN) ranks high among the major aircraft companies of the world.

Throughout the 80 years of its history, ILYUSHIN has designed the best specimens of military, passenger-carrying and transport aircraft. Among them are ground-attack aircraft IL-2, IL-10, and IL-102; bombers IL-4 and IL-28; anti-submarine aircraft IL-38; passenger airliners IL-12, IL-14, IL-18, IL-62, IL-86, IL-96-300, IL-96MO, IL-114, IL-114-100, and IL-103; and transport airlifters IL-12D, IL-14T, IL-76 and its modifications; IL-114T, and IL-96-400T.

On January 13, 1933 a design bureau for experimental construction of light aircraft and military series was established at the facilities of Plant No.39 under an order of the People's Commissar of the Heavy Industry and the Head of the Main Department of Aviation Industry Comrade P.I. Baranov.

S.V. Ilyushin was transferred from his position of Deputy Head of TsAGI to the position of the Deputy Director and Head of the Experimental Design Bureau at Plant 39. Thus the history of creative activity of our Company commenced.

S.V. Ilyushin started working at his first aircraft, bomber TsKB-26, with a design team comprising only seven specialists. They were the first in the future overall team of similarly focused enthusiasts, which was being created by Sergei Vladimirovich, and which, as he thought, it was more difficult to establish then to build the most sophisticated aircraft. In May 1934, the team already comprised 54 people.

The bomber project implemented the most innovative (at the time) solutions; this allowed obtaining performance and combat properties, which considerably excelled those of aircraft that had been adopted for service. In short time, technical documentation was issued, and prototype TsKB-26 of combined structure was built; in summer 1935 test pilot V.K. Kokkinaki flew it for the first time. Test results showed that the new aircraft had outstanding performance. On this aircraft, for the first time in Soviet Union, world aviation records were achieved in terms of altitude of flight with a load, and range and speed of flight with a load. It was suggested that S.V. Ilyushin should, as soon as possible, make the second prototype TsKB-30 of all-metal structure, taking into account test results obtained on the first prototype. Flight tests for TsKB-30 began in spring 1936; in August same year the aircraft was adopted for service by the Air Force under the designation of DB-3, and its mass manufacture was started at aircraft plants in Moscow, Voronezh, and Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

DB-3 entered the service with bomber regiments of the Soviet Air Force and replaced the previous bombers TB-3. Relatively simple piloting techniques and more advanced equipment of the DB-3 allowed the flight crews of the combat units to master these aircraft quite quickly. Torpedo bomber DB-3T was created for the Navy.

The outstanding performance of the new aircraft was confirmed by two long-range non-stop flights in 1938 and 1939 (from Moscow to the Far East and to North America across the Atlantic Ocean, over a range of 8,000 km).

S.V. Ilyushin continued improving the DB-3. In May 1939 V.K. Kokkinaki flew a new modified DB-3F with enhanced aerodynamics, more powerful engines, flight speed increased to 445 km/h, and 3,500-km range of flight with a bomb load of 1,000 kg.

From the first hours of the Great Patriotic War, the DB-3, DB-3T and DB-3F aircraft were taking an active part in combat activities. On the night of August 08, 1941 the DB-3 aircraft of the Baltic Fleet Air Force inflicted a strike on Berlin.

In the extremely hard conditions of evacuation, workers of mass-production plants, who often had to work in incomplete (and, sometimes, non-heated) production shops, and were deprived of workplace conveniences, were building the DB-3F aircraft, thus demonstrating heroic and selfless attitude to work. In March 1942, the aircraft was given the designation IL-4.

In the battle of Stalingrad, which began on November 19, 1942, 480 long-range bombers were delivering strikes on the enemy.

The IL-4 became the primary bombers and torpedo carriers in the Great Patriotic War.

Based on the analysis of combat application of surveillance & ground attack aircraft and fighter aircraft for immediate support of ground-surface troops in Spain and China, S.V. Ilyushin, on his own initiative (which was a peculiar feature of his designer’s creativity) conducted design tests of parameters and layout of an armored ground-attack aircraft.

In January 1938, S.V. Ilyushin addressed the government with a suggestion to create the armored two-seat (for a crew comprising the pilot and a flight observer – operator of the defense machinegun) ground attack aircraft, which he had already designed. The aircraft was essentially a “flying tank”; in its combat efficiency, it excelled the light bombers and reconnaissance plants created under the Ivanov program.

‘The task of creating an armored ground attack aircraft is hard and involves high technical risks; however, I am going to tackle the task enthusiastically and in full confidence’, wrote S.V. Ilyushin in his letter. The confidence felt by S.V. Ilyushin was rooted in the implementation of his outstanding design idea. He made the armor not solely to protect the aircraft, but to work instead of an ordinary airframe, thus considerably reducing aircraft weight. The armored housing, which formed the nose contour of the fuselage, enclosed power plant, engine cooling radiators, cockpit, and benzene tanks.

Looking like this, the prototype TsKB-55 with engine AM-35 designed by A.A. Mikulin made its maiden flight on October 02, 1939, with V.K. Kokkinaki as the pilot. Because of underestimation of its flight and combat performance by some specialists, its transfer to mass production was somewhat delayed. After a large amount of finalizing work connected with use of the more powerful low-altitude engine AM038, selection (upon the request of military specialists) of a one-seat version, and installation of more powerful offensive armaments, mass production of the new aircraft (designated IL-2) was finally started at Voronezh Aircraft Plant. Workers of the plant worked on a 24-hour basis together with a team of designers headed by S.V. Ilyushin in person, and with representatives of A.A. Mikulin’s engine design bureau. On March 01, 1941 the first mass-manufactured IL-2 arrived at the plant flight test station. By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, 249 attack aircraft IL-2 were built.

On June 27, 1941 the IL-2 received their “fire baptism”. This evening, the five IL-2 of the 4th attack aircraft wing delivered a bomb-and-attack strike on a column of German tanks and motorized infantry near Bobruisk at the turn of the River Berezina. Simple piloting technique, powerful armaments, immunity against the fire of ground small arms and even (to some extent) against the fire of light anti-aircraft artillery made the IL-2 a dangerous weapon against ground troops of the enemy, especially its tanks and motorized infantry.

In autumn 1941, because of evacuation of mass-production plants to the east, production of the IL-2 suffered a drastic reduction. In extremely hard conditions the aircraft manufacturers strove to arrange production of the ground attack aircraft at new locations, sometimes outdoors. That was the time of the Moscow battle, and the combat forces needed the IL-2 more than ever.

Joseph Stalin sent a telegram to Kuibyshev to plant directors M.B. Shenkman and A.T. Tretyakov: “You have brought our country and the Red Army into trouble. You still fail to manufacture the IL-2. Our Red Army now needs the IL-2 to the same extent as it needs air or bread. Shenkman gives us only one IL-2 per day, whereas Tretyakov gives one or two MiG-3 per day. This is some sort of derision in respect of the country and the Red Army.

We do not need the MiG. We need the IL-2. If Plant No.18 intends to make the country lay off by giving us just one IL-2 per day, it is a serious mistake, and you will be punished for this.

Please do not put the government out of patience; I hereby demand that you make more IL aircraft. This is my final warning. Stalin”.

The IL-2 started coming to the combat units in ever increasing quantities. By the beginning of the battle of Kursk, each month the front received over 1,000 IL-2 aircraft. In total, 36,000 IL-2 aircraft were manufactured during the war.

However, the battle experience revealed a considerable drawback of the single-seated IL-2: its vulnerability to attacks of enemy fighters from the rear. The drawback was rectified by installation of a rear shooter’s cabin with a large-caliber machinegun designed by M.E. Berezin. The work was performed upon the order of J.V. Stalin by S.V. Ilyushin, designers, and mass-production plants without stopping the production. The IL-2 marked the beginning of the era of the new type aircraft. In respect of this, in 1944 the Pravda newspaper wrote in 1944 that ‘the ILYUSHIN-2 aircraft were not solely an achievement of the aviation science, but also a brilliant tactical invention’.

The experience of combat application of the IL-2 was used in the design of a high-speed and highly maneuverable armored ground attack aircraft IL-10, which were utilized in large quantities at the final stage of the Great Patriotic War ad during the war with militaristic Japan. Their mass production continued till 1947; till the mid 1950s, these aircraft were in service with the attack Air Force detachments of the Soviet Army and some foreign countries.

S.V. Ilyushin’s aircraft constituted over 30% of the total number of combat aircraft in the Great Patriotic War, and made a valuable contribution to the Victory.

From October 1941 till April 1942, the Design Bureau worked in evacuation in Kuibyshev (Samara) at Aircraft Plant No.18. After the return to Moscow, the Design Bureau and prototype production facilities occupied the facilities of Plant No.240 of the People's Commissariat of Aviation Industry at 17 Krasnoarmeyskaya Street. On April 21, 1942 by Order No.304 of the People's Commissar of Aviation Industry A.I. Shakhurin, Sergei Vladimirovich Ilyushin was appointed Director and Chief Designer of Plant No.240 of the People's Commissariat of Aviation Industry.

In 1943, when there was still a long way to go to Victory, S.V. Ilyushin already understood that after the war the country would need a civil passenger-carrying aircraft, which should be better than LI-2 (DS-3). He started working at the IL-12.

In 1946, AEROFLOT started operating the IL-12. Thus, the Soviet Union received the first domestic-made aircraft for mass passenger transportation, whereas the Design Bureau got a new direction for work, i.e. passenger airliners. The IL-12 was also manufactured in the military transport version.

Based on the experience of operation of the IL-12, the IL-14 passenger airliner of better performance was created in 1950. The aircraft had 14 versions and was mass-produced not only in the Soviet Union, but also in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and in the German Democratic Republic. The mass production and long operation of the IL-14 aircraft, their extensive use by scientific expeditions in their activities at the North Pole and South Pole, and operation under different climatic conditions confirmed the advantages of its design and high flight performance and cost efficiency.

During the post-war years, the 4-engine jet bomber IL-22 powered with engines AL-1 designed by A.M. Lyulka was designed and began experimental flights in 1947. It is by right considered the first Soviet jet aircraft of such class. The design experience and the IL-22 test results allowed the team to create, within a short period of time, the mass-manufactured combat jet bomber IL-28.

The IL-28 had high performance parameters and was simple in terms of piloting technique. In its design, the new assembly method developed by S.V. Ilyushin was first used, which provided for a better precision of the aircraft contours (especially the wing), high quality of riveting, and a considerable reduction of labor input. The IL-28 was built at four plants in several versions of different modification. In total, 5,500 aircraft were built.

As part of continuing the research and development activities for the purpose of improving the combat jet bomber in terms of enhancing its speed parameters, flight range, and strike power, in 1949 – 1954 the ILYUSHIN team developed new prototypes, among them bomber IL-46 and near-sonic original- design bomber IL-54 with 55° swept wing, engines attached on pylons, and bicycle landing gear.

In 1946 the Design Bureau, in the course of work related to passenger airplanes, designed the IL-18 airliner with reciprocating engines for transportation of 66 passengers; however, this aircraft was not mass-produced.

After the appearance of Soviet-manufactured turboprop engines, S.V. Ilyushin set the task to create a mass-produced passenger airliner, which would make the price of an air ticket be not higher than the price of a ticket to a railway coach. In 1956, work at the 4-engine turboprop airliner IL-18 began. On July 04, 1957 it made its maiden flight from the Moscow Central Aerodrome, flown by V.K. Kokkinaki; in 1957-1970, the aircraft was in mass production. Operation of the aircraft in a configuration for 75 passengers (and, later, for 100 passengers) began at AEROFLOT lines in April 1959. The IL-18 served as a base for several special-purpose aircraft versions. Because of its excellent flight and operating performance, the aircraft was widely used both in our country and abroad. Over 120 aircraft were supplied to 16 countries.

On December 17, 1956 the Council of Ministers of the USSR passed the Resolution of awarding, to S.V. Ilyushin, the title of General Designer, and of appointing him the Executive Officer of Plant 240 of the Ministry of Aviation Industry.

In the mid 1960s, the country’s airlines began to receive second-generation turbojet aircraft, which differed from the previous generation by a higher speed and a better comfort for passengers. One of the representatives of this aircraft generation was the IL-62 with engines NK8-4 designed by General Designer N.D. Kuznetsov.

The IL-62 was immediately placed on international airlines; on September 15, 1967 it opened the transatlantic flight ‘Moscow-Montreal’. The aircraft was taken in lease by such companies as IAL (Japan) and Air France.

In 1974, the IL-62M was put in operation. It was fitted with more advanced engines D30KU designed by General Designer P.A. Soloviev; besides, for the first time the vertical tail was used as a fuel tank. The flight range was increased by 1,000 km. In their performance, these aircraft were equal to the best foreign intercontinental airliners of the respective generation.

On April 30, 1966 by Order 175 of the Ministry of Aviation Industry of the USSR, an ‘open’ name was approved for the prototype plant (Moscow Machine Building Plant ‘Strela’).

In July 1970, in accordance with a recommendation by S.V. Ilyushin, his “student” Genrikh Vasilievich Novozhilov was appointed General Designer – Executive Officer of the Company by an appropriate Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. He started working with the Design Bureau in 1948 and rose from design engineer to Deputy Chief Designer for IL-18 and operation and then to First Deputy General Designer for IL-62.

Under G.V. Novozhilov, the most widely used military transportation and civil aircraft was designed: the jet airliner IL-76 with D30-KP engines, which made its maiden flight on March 25, 1971 from the Frunze Central Airfield of Moscow, flown by E.I. Kuznetsov. It was adopted for service by the Air Force in 1974.

The IL-76 concept for the first time in the world utilized the concept providing for the basing of a heavy jet airlifter both on concrete-paved airdromes and on unpaved limited-size airfields. The aircraft can be used for air-dropping of people and equipment; it can also carry large cargoes (weight over 40 ton) and various self-propelled vehicles. The loading system employs aircraft mechanical devices for loading and unloading. International and domestic containers and pallets can be used.

Since December 1977, the aircraft has been successfully operated at AEROFLOT international airlines. The IL-76 became a mass aircraft of Soviet and Russian transport aviation.

27 world records relating to cargo-carrying capacity and flight speed were achieved on the IL-76 aircraft. Continuing the improvement of the IL-76, the ILYUSHIN team developed and initiated mass production of IL-76M, IL-76T, IL-76MD, IL-76TD. A special place in the work of the Aviation Complex is given to the designing of refueling tanker IL-78 for long-range Air Force aircraft, and to the designing of aircraft for training of cosmonauts in gravity-free conditions, for firefighting, etc.

The aircraft version with a 6.3 m longer cargo cabin, new flight and navigation equipment, and more powerful and fuel-efficient engines PS-90A-76 was designated IL-76MF; the maiden flight took place in August 1995.

For civil aviation, IL-76TD-90 was created, also with engines PS-90A-76. Operation was started by Volga-Dnieper Company in 2005.

An April 18, 1977 the Moscow Machine Building Plant ‘Strela’, in accordance with Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR No.228-16, changed its name to Ilyushin Moscow Machine Building Plant. A.V. Shaposhnikov was the Director from 1974 to 1988.

In the 1970, the ILYUSHIN team successfully accomplished the task of creation and certification of the first Soviet wide-body IL-86 aircraft with 350 passenger seats. The maiden flight took place from the Central Aerodrome of Moscow on December 22, 1976, with S.G. Bliznyuk as the pilot.

Since December 1980, the IL-86 has been in operation in domestic and international airlines. Thanks to its design features, such as “luggage in hand” plus containers”, installation of three entrance doors with built-in stairs, and a special landing gear, the IL-86 was placed in regular operation without the costly reconstruction of the existing airports and their runways intended for taking lighter passenger airliners.

In the first half of the 1970s, simultaneously with creation of the first Soviet high-seating-capacity aircraft IL-86, G.V. Novozhilov started design and research work in respect of a wide-body long-range passenger airliner. Originally it was intended that the new aircraft would be a further modification of the IL-86; however, the constantly growing requirements to reduction of the cost of passenger-kilometer., increase of payload and seating capacity, with concurrent reduction of fuel consumption, led to the creation of a radically new aircraft IL-96-300.

On September 28, 1988 the IL-96-300, S/N USSR-96000, piloted by the crew with S.G. Bliznyuk as the left pilot, took off from the Frunze Central Airport in Moscow. AEROFLOT started passenger operations on ‘Moscow – New-York’ route on July 14, 1993.

Based on results of evaluation of prospects for different classes of passenger aircraft and generalization of over 30 years of experience in operation of various versions of the IL-14 aircraft, in the early 1980s the S.V. Ilyushin Design Bureau, in spite of the large amount of work and prior to completion of work in respect of the IL-96-300, started the design of a local airliner IL-114.

The IL-114 may be operated from relatively small aerodromes containing concrete or unpaved runways, which contributes to the expansion of geography of using the aircraft. The version with ski-equipped landing gear makes flights in the Arctic. The aircraft is mass produced in Tashkent; 6 aircraft make flights in Uzbekistan.

On December 24, 1991 the Ilyushin Moscow Machine Building Plant, in accordance with Order 4 of the Department of Aviation Industry, changed its name to Open Joint Stock Company “Ilyushin Aviation Complex”.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, ILYUSHIN, in spite of the serious financial problems, keeps carrying out its creative work.

In April 1993, the Russian-American IL-96MO (a modification of IL-96-300) took off from the Moscow Central Aerodrome. The fuselage is 9.3 m longer; the modification had received Pratt-and-Whitney engines (USA) and Collins flight and navigation system. The take-off weight had been increased to 270 ton; the aircraft range is 12,000 km.

Flight tests of IL-103, a light multipurpose aircraft for local airlines, flight school training, and patrolling, began on May 17, 2005.

In April 1997, the first mass-produced IL-96T airlifter was rolled from the gates of the Voronezh Aircraft Plant (VASO). Unfortunately, because of certain circumstances, the first aircraft of this type to have been built was not a passenger airliner for 380 to 400 seats, but the cargo version. Throughout the years, a large amount of hard work was done together with the CIS IAC for certification of these aircraft with the Register of the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

In 1999, both IL-103 and IL-96T received, for the first time in the aviation history of Russia, FAA Type Certificates.

In April 1994 our enterprise was converted into a joint stock company. Now we bear the name of Open Joint Stock Company “Ilyushin Aviation Complex”. Viktor Vladimirovich Livanov, who had started his work for the Company as a process engineer in the assembly shop, and was elected back in 1988, became Director General for the Aviation Complex.

Work of ILYUSHIN under present-day economic circumstances and at the new level of technology entailed conversion and modernization of the Company’s structure.

Sales and marketing services were reinforced with extra staff; a project management department and a continued airworthiness center were established; the IT directorate and the training center were modernized.

In 2006, the Company set upon the task of putting to production, at AVIASTAR plant in Ulyanovsk, of the IL-76 modification, which had earlier been produced by TAPC in Tashkent. The Project is designated IL-476. Its flight tests (under the designation of IL-76MD-90A) were started in September 2012.The aircraft is fitted with engines PS-90A-76; its wing was made using a new technology. The aircraft has a “glass” cockpit and an increased air-drop load.

In October 2012, ILYUSHIN signed an agreement with HAL (India) on continuing cooperation for creation of the Multipurpose Military Transport Aircraft (MTA). It is being designed using state-of-the-art technologies and new methods for management of all processes.

The antisubmarine IL-38 aircraft of the Indian Naval Air Force were modernized. Similar work is being carried out for Russian aircraft. Other activities are also being performed.

In spite of the difficulties of the last decades, ILYUSHIN still keeps its position in the Russian and global markets.

For the achievements of on the state scale, Ilyushin Aviation Complex was awarded the Order of Lenin (1942), the Order of Red Combat Banner (1944), the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1969), and the Order of the October Revolution (1983). Many employees were awarded Orders and medals. Six persons were awarded the title of the Hero of Socialist Labor. Ten test pilots were awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union and Russian Federation. Among them, V.K. Kokkinaki is the only test pilot who was awarded this title twice.

For the creation of IL-2, IL -28, IL -18, IL -38, IL -62, IL -76, IL -86, and IL-96-300, the Lenin Prize and the State Prize of the USSR were awarded in various years.

In December 2012, for the creation and initiation of mass production of the modernized military airlifter IL-76MD-90A using digital design and production technologies, Public Joint Stock Company “Ilyushin Aviation Complex” was awarded the Golden Idea First National Prize ‘For achievements in manufacture of military products, and implementation of advanced technologies and innovative solutions’.

Currently, ILYUSHIN is a Company of UAC, and specializes in transport and special-purpose aircraft.